Is it any wonder that back pain and depression are so closely linked? Unlike a broken limb or a sprained ankle for instance where you can immobilize the affected area and wait for it to heal, back pain is all-encompassing, all-of-the-time. In a chronic situation there can be lifestyle, income and social changes that have to be dealt with also and these can greatly contribute to the onset of depression.
When battling with pain, depression can often sneak up on us without us even knowing. Certainly in my case it was my partner that first noticed the changes. Sure, I felt down about everything but I thought I was coping ok and it wasn’t until I sat down and spoke about how I was feeling that I realized that I wasn’t doing all that well at all. I urge you to take very seriously the things that people close to you are saying about you in this situation! There are some new alternative therapy to treat pain like inversion tables or TENS machine. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, is a type of electrical stimulation used to provide relief from severe back or neck pain. We will be discussing in details as how you can buy the best TENS machine in UK later in this article.
So what are the signs we need to look out for and what can be done about feeling depressed when back pain is ruling your life?
The Signs To Look Out For
First and foremost, if you are feeling depressed to the point of thinking about self-harm or inflicting harm on others you MUST SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY. Call emergency services or have someone take you to the nearest hospital WITHOUT DELAY. You certainly don’t have to feel this way and there will be plenty of help available to get you through it.
Below is a check-list put together by the National Institute Of Mental Health to aid in the diagnosis of depression. I would like you to read (and/or print out) the list and make a note of each symptom that you are experiencing.
• I am really sad most of the time
• I don’t enjoy doing the things I’ve always enjoyed doing
• I have difficulty sleeping at night
• I often feel fatigued
• Getting up in the morning is challenging
• I feel better as the day goes on compared to when I first awoke
• My eating habits have changed: Generally, I eat more than usual or I eat less than usual
• I have very little, if any, sexual energy
• I am very forgetful throughout the day
• I find it hard to focus on the simple things in life. Even counting change has become challenging
• I often feel angry
• I feel anxious and fearful for no apparent reason
• I prefer to stay alone rather than socialize
• I feel pessimistic about life in general and am not sure I want to continue living
• I feel disappointed in myself
• I feel bad (physically and emotionally) most of the time
• I have thoughts about my death
• I think about how I might kill myself
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms it is time to call your doctor and discuss these results.
What Help Is Available?
While you may see your back pain as the cause or trigger of your depression and think that you will be depressed as long as your back pain is around, it is important to keep in mind that they are two totally different conditions and can be treated (and cured) independently of each other.
There are two main areas of treatment for depression – medicine and counseling.
There are many different types of anti-depressants available and their use is widespread in today’s society. Before starting on anti-depressants it is important to know that there may be unwanted side effects and I know from my experiences you have to be ‘weaned’ off some types if you decide you no longer want to take them.
Also, your doctor may have to try a few different types of anti-depressants before the best one is found for you. Like any medication, be sure to discuss all of the pro’s and con’s with your doctor before making any decisions.
Ah yes, the one us guys are usually reluctant to try! From my own point of view, the hardest thing was to admit that I needed help and to actually say those words to my doctor. From there on in it was all easy going and without a doubt talking to a psychologist about how I was feeling was the best thing I have done since my back problems first started many moons ago. A person trained in the field of counseling and psychology will be able to help you change the way you think, feel and behave to support you in feeling better.
The two types of ‘talk therapy’ that have been known to help with depression are cognitive and interpersonal therapy, or a combination of the two. Cognitive therapy focuses on thought patterns, feelings and behaviors while interpersonal therapy focuses on challenges in relationships.
Benefits of TENS machine
TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, is a back pain treatment that uses low voltage electric current to relieve pain. The benefits of a trancutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit, or TENS, result from electrical impulses that reduce the sensation of pain. Sometimes TENS is used after surgery for incision or post-operative pain (e.g., joint replacement, cardiac procedures, various abdominal surgeries, or cesarean sections). Studies show that TENS can significantly reduce the use of analgesics (pain relievers, including narcotic drugs) after surgery. The main working principle of TENS Unit is to block the pain signal between pain area and brain. TENS is typically done with a TENS unit, a small battery-operated device.
- TENS has been a therapeutic staple in physical therapy and chronic pain clinics for decades.
- This device mostly confuses people with EMS device which look similar.
- The device can be hooked to a belt and is connected to two electrodes.
- William Teller of Stanford University Department of Material Sciences, other studies have shown that the TENS unit increases the body’s production of endorphins, a naturally released painkiller.
There are many consumer TENS units on the market. EMS stands for Electrical Muscle Stimulation and its main purpose is to stimulate muscles. The electrodes carry an electric current from the TENS machine to the skin. Often seen being used by physical therapists, the electric impulse will trigger a user’s muscle retraining the brain and nerve patterns. It has a huge following of believers, both providers and customers. (more…)Read More